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Stem-and-Leaf Plot

  • In: Encyclopedia of Epidemiology
  • Edited by: Sarah Boslaugh
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Health Research Methods , Epidemiology & Biostatistics

The stem-and-leaf plot was developed by John Tukey and is used for continuous data during exploratory data analysis. It gives a detailed description of the distribution of the data and gives insight into the nature of the data. It is more informative than a simple tally of the numbers or a histogram because it retains individual data points. Using the information in a stem-and-leaf plot, the mean, median, mode, range, and percentiles can all be determined. In addition, when the stem-and-leaf plot is turned on its side, one is looking at a histogram of the data. From this, one can get an idea of how the data are distributed. For example, whether the data appear to be described by a normal curve or whether they ...

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